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Ex-death row inmate Lazale Ashby resentenced to life for murder

A man who was once on death row was resentenced in Hartford Superior Court Wednesday.

A stoic and seemingly emotionless 33-year-old Lazale Ashby never once looked at the family of the woman he was convicted of murdering.

In 2008, Ashby was sentenced to death plus another 125 years in prison for the 2002 rape and murder of  21-year-old Elizabeth Garcia.

Garcia was a single mother of a 2-year-old daughter at the time.

“I know it is effectively a technical change now in the sentence because of the case-law,” Senior Assistant State’s Attorney John Fahey said during the court proceedings Wednesday.

The hearing was a resentencing of two of the nine counts in the case after the state Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the death penalty was unconstitutional.

The sentences of all death row inmates had to be revised following the ruling.

“The sentence of the court is life without the possibility of release,” said Judge Laura Baldini during the sentencing.

Baldini’s sentence of life without release is exactly what Fahey and Garcia’s family were hoping for.

“Nothing we do today, nothing that Jerry did then, ever brings closure,” Fahey said. “Might soften what they go through every day.”

Tear-filled, emotional victim impact statements read by Garcia’s mother and her now 17-year-old daughter described the painful toll Garcia’s death has taken on the family.

At one point, Fahey read a statement on behalf of Garcia’s sister.

“I can’t just hear her death, I feel the pain of it daily, Fahey said. “Because every thorn that stems from her passing stats my body.”

Ashby is also serving time for a 2003 murder.

Since the state did away with the death penalty, six death row inmates have been resentenced.

Ashby is one of five other inmates who await resentencing.

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